New powers for the UK’s Information Commissioner are coming into effect, and businesses better beware as they include the authority to impose penalties of up to £500,000 for the most serious incidents of businesses and other organizations making unwanted lmarketing phone calls or sending unwanted marketing emails to consumers.
The new powers, which will come into force as part of an amendment to the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), also include:
- Increased investigatory powers: the ICO can require telecommunications companies and ISPs to provide his office with information that he needs to investigate breaches of the Regulations.
- Compulsory notification when breaches occur: telecommunications companies and ISPs will be required to notify the ICO and their customers in certain circumstances when a personal data breach occurs.
- Increased audit powers: the Information Commissioner will have the power to audit telecommunication companies and ISPs for compliance with these personal data breach notification requirements.
- New rules for websites using cookies and similar technologies: the ICO will be responsible for regulating compliance with this new requirement and will soon be issuing advice.
Source: Information Commissioner’s Office